The Committee for Slave Wages and Free Puppies for Everybody Lives On
By Doug Porter
Have you seen the Falconer for Mayor ads in social media yet? San Diego’s incumbent mayor is claiming credit –sort of– for a 34% drop in local unemployment since he was elected. If you buy into this claim, you’ll love the expected follow-up ads claiming credit for the sun rising, the sun setting, and better-than-usual surf in Ocean Beach.
Think of this employment claim as like a candidate standing next to a cardboard cutout of somebody famous, hoping for the perceived endorsement. In Faulconer’s case, this cutout could be anybody but a member of his own political party since it would be hard to find a living Republican with a positive economic record. And hasn’t he heard the proclamations from his fellow Republicans about how jobs are fleeing the People’s Republic of California?
Independent mayoral candidate Lori Saldaña called Falconer out this claim this week, pointing to the reality that San Diegans are working more for less money, thanks to his veto of a minimum wage increase in 2014.
From my column of August 8, 2014:
Republican Mayor Kevin Faulconer has vetoed an ordinance increasing minimum wages and allowing for earned sick days for San Diegans.
The City Council now has 30 days to override the veto. Twenty-four hours after that vote happens it’s probable that the Chamber of Commerce–given that they’ve been raising money for it– will begin collecting signatures to overturn the ordinance.
The Committee for Slave Wages and Free Puppies for Everybody–or whatever catchy name they come up with–will have 30 days to collect 34,000 or so signatures. Should they succeed, the ordinance will be suspended until after the June, 2016 vote.
Faulconer released a statement trying to put a positive spin on his veto:
This ordinance unfairly pits working families and our city against economic realities that will make it even harder for San Diego to thrive. I cannot support putting the brakes on our economy. I believe we can and must work together in unison – workers, businesses and government – to move San Diego forward.
The reality of Faulconer’s ‘moving San Diego forward’ is that the $1,618 average rent in San Diego means if you make the current minimum wage of $10, you’re literally spending every penny you make a month on housing.
Keeping wages suppressed while productivity increases is a basic tenet of GOP economics. There’s 40 years of evidence proving that there is no such thing as trickle down when it comes to the 99%. Smiles and press conference won’t make that truth go away.
Falconer’s Campaign Manager Leads the Opposition to Minimum Wage Boost
As an Assemblymember, Lori Saldaña voted to increase the minimum wage for millions of Californians. She stepped forward to challenge harassment claims by the anti-minimum wage forces during the petition campaign, holding a press conference and releasing videos showing misleading claims being made by canvassers.
Mayor Faulconer’s campaign manager, Jason Roe, was not-so-coincidentally the spokesperson for the anti-minimum wage ‘Small Business Coalition.’ When Saldaña announced she was running for mayor, it was Roe who the Union-Tribune turned to refute her disagreements with the Faulconer administration.
Saldaña criticized the mayor for vetoing a city minimum wage increase in summer 2014, contending his decision has helped increase local homelessness and crime.
“There are more people living in more desperate circumstances,” she said.
Saldaña said Faulconer’s list of campaign donors, which includes a wide range of business interests, is a clue to why he made that move.
“He is taking money from the people who want to build the tallest buildings and pay the lowest wages,” she said. “It’s very clear who he is standing with, and it’s not the people of San Diego.”
Roe said the mayor vetoed the wage increase, which will appear on the June ballot thanks to a subsequent referendum, because it would have hurt small businesses and increased unemployment.
Democratic mayoral candidate Ed Harris voted for a local minimum wage increase when it came before the city council. And when the measure came back before the council following a big-business sponsored petition drive, he voted to let the people be the ultimate arbiter, even as the Chamber of Commerce CEO argued to kill the measure completely.
The City Council’s minimum wage/ earned sick days ordinance is finally coming up for a vote on June 7th.
Both Saldaña and Harris will be on the ballot in San Diego. It seems to me it would be hypocritical to vote yes on Proposition I and not vote for one of the people who actually give a damn about jobs and wages in San Diego.
And here’s the dirty little secret at the bottom of the anti-minimum wage arguments: most corporate executives know they should increase wages.
Will The Charter Review Committee Squash Citizen Activism?
After months of advocacy, including testimony before city council committees on several occasions, the community supported proposal to reform the Civilian Review Board on Police Practices has one last chance to make the November ballot.
The twenty-six community groups supporting increased transparency, independence, and accountability for the Civilian Review Board are calling on the public to attend the City Council Charter Review Committee at City Hall (12th Floor) on Wednesday, April 20th at 9am.
At present, a watered-down version of the original proposal is set for consideration. Left on the cutting room floor were: independent investigators, independent legal counsel (See my story on the short-comings of the City Attorney), and subpoena power.
A letter sent to members of the Charter Committee (Councilpersons Lightner, Emerald, Cate, Kersey) included this statement:
The City Attorney has ruled that changes to the CRB must be made either by the Mayor or by Charter revision. In light of this, and the timeliness and importance of this issue, we feel it is essential that our proposal be allowed the broadest possible consideration by your Committee. We would appreciate an opportunity at the April 20, 2016 meeting of the Charter Committee to present our arguments in full.
In addition, we believe that the role of the Board needs to be clarified. The CRB represents the only opportunity the Community has to directly influence the workings of the Police Department. The Board is directed and run by the Chair, Vice Chair and its members. The role of the Executive Director is a management/administrative one. There have been multiple arguments made that the Executive Director will correct the shortcomings of the CRB given time to do so. We have no doubt that the current ED will correct the administrative shortcomings of the CRB. However, our proposal is not about administration, it is about the power and authority of the Board itself. CRB policies and procedures need to be promulgated by the Board members, with input from the Community. These should be put online for comment, then go to the City Council for comment before adoption. At the PSLN Committee meeting, Councilwoman Emerald said we should all be working together, the CRB, SDPD, City Council and the Community. We agree.
On This Day:1775 – The American Revolution began as fighting broke out at Lexington, MA. 1995 – A domestic right-wing terrorist’s bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people, 99 of whom were government employees. 2008 – The first Record Store Day was held. The event was founded to celebrate the culture of the independently owned record store. Metallica officially kicked off the first event at Rasputin Music in San Francisco, CA.
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